Wellness Walks

The first steps to
Feeling Better

Wellness Walks is based on some simple truths we all know – backed up with some proven therapeutic strategies that are informed by factual research.

We all know going for a walk is good for us, that nature has a special way of putting things in perspective and that talking about things helps – we combine those three simple elements to empower people to take action to feel better.

Our walks are all either free or very heavily subsidised for participants – and we make sure you are safe, supported and encouraged.

Meet The Wellness Walks Team

We believe that knowing who we’re working with – the relationship – is vital to achieving positive outcomes.

All of our walks are run by a facilitator who will hold actual qualifications (i.e. hasn’t just “attended a course”) in walk safety but also outdoor first aid, first aid for mental health, safeguarding  and has been trained to start and guide safe supportive conversations. Often we’ll have events that bring in an additional specialist – maybe a pain counsellor or a physical health specialist – but there’ll always be a Wellness Walks facilitator there as well to make sure everything we do has the participant’s wellbeing at it’s core.

Kelvyn James

Founder & Director

Mental Health North West started as Kelvyn "trading as.." - but during 2020 it became increasingly evident there is a mental health crisis in the UK.

So Kelvyn made the decision to form a CIC in order that the services he offered could be upscaled to try and help as many people as possible  in as many places as possible.

Wellness Walks is the logical outcome of this, helping people take the first steps to feeling better.

Kelvyn has personal experience of this - he's suffered his own depression and ptsd following the murder of his mother - and over the following decade he credits time spent engaging with nature and, vitally, engaging with others in nature as being a key to his recovery.

He holds several leadership awards and teaching qualifications - so not only does he have the required skills to help someone - he knows how to pass those skills on. He's passionate about giving people the opportunity to engage with nature and the space to reconnect with themselves and others.

Kelvyn delivers our Mental Health training courses and oversees the Walk & Talk days.

Despite having worked and travelled all over the world he's super lucky to call the Westmorland Dales home. His favourite walk in Cumbria is a loop of the high tops around Grisedale Valley.

Catriona James


Catriona is responsible for the financial oversight of MHNW. Cat brings to the organisation:

  • She's a qualified accountant.
  • She is currently responsible for the finance and HR management at a medium sized landscape charity.
  • Previously Cat has been the Finance Director of a £multi-million manufacturing business.
  • A degree in Business Management - to match theory to years of real world experience.

In her spare time Cat is currently studying towards becoming a specialist chartered management accountant.

When she needs a break from number analysis Cat is also a well renowned artist ~ and many of her works take their inspiration from the mountains & valleys she loves to spend time in - her very own sort of art therapy.

Cat has lived in Cumbria for over 20 years - she says her favourite place is the wonderful Langdale Valley in all of its different seasons.

David Reid


He is the current Chief Executive of a £multi-million Social Enterprise company providing care, education and support for disabled children...

David is a qualified social worker and psychologist as well as holding several other qualifications up to level 8.

David is a survivor of childhood abuse and is fully aware from both a personal and professional perspective of the impact that trauma can have on an individual’s sense of wellbeing and mental health having struggled for years to come to terms with his early experiences and having helped many others to do the same.

He is also fully aware that mental wellbeing is not a fixed status and can change or be affected by external factors over time. He cites the time in October 2017 when he attempted to take his own life following the breakup of a long term relationship as a particular low point even though to the outside world he was a successful senior executive winning national and international awards. He found comfort and healing in the natural environment, particularly the mountains of the lake district.

David says his favourite place in the UK has to be the Langdale Valley where most of his personal recovery took place.

Beth Wallis


Beth embodies the spirit of adventure - but magically she knows how to make those adventures happen literally anywhere. Beth has been an outdoor instructor since she was 15 - and in the...

decade since has had literally hundreds of tent nights on tiny islands, mountains, river banks, school playing fields and, memorably, Morrisons car park.

Over that time one thing has held true - its the people you're with that make something special. Beth has coached adults into remembering how to play & teenagers into realising just how capable they really are. In her own words Beth has " soaked up wisdom from eighty year olds whilst hiking in the mountains, and learnt life lessons from pre-shoolers walking along an inner city canal tow path"

What we value most about Beth though is the connections she makes with clients "I've cried with people who've found the empty solitude of the loch a safe place to share their pain and struggle, I've celebrated all that is good about life and love on mountain summits"

Like all of the team at MHNW Beth has had her own mental health journey - something that helps her make those empathetic connections so well.

It goes without saying - Beth is also exceptionally well qualified in adventures - especially if they happen to involve water!

Beth says her favourite place in the Lake District is Derwentwater - the middle of the lake is the best possible vantage point to see 360 degrees of marvel.

A walk thats right for you

We put on a range of different walk types – below we try to give you a feel of what each of them offer – obviously there can be a lot of overlap – but if you’ve got any questions or would like to know more then we’d love to hear from you.

1 to 1 Walks

As the name suggests these walks are very bespoke to the individual and usually mean that we’ll have had a chat first. Funding for this sort of therapy is very difficult to come by so these walks are always in high demand.

Small Ratio

Most of our walks fall into this category – whether its Walk & Talk, Engagement or Skills based we keep groups small to maximise the benefits that participants can get from the sessions.

Group Walks

We do some events that are low key and designed for a lot of people to come along and meet each other. They still have a facilitator with the same skills & they still put participants at the heart of the event.

Walk & Talk

As the name suggests the talk is just as important as the walk – we’ll head somewhere good and let the conversation find it’s own way too.

Skills Sessions

These sessions will aim to give you the skills to head out on your own, to build your confidence or to tackle a particular issue.


Walks with a particular purpose – something for participants to get engaged with – nature, geology, mindfulness – there’ll be somthing for everyone.

How to take part

Take a look through our program of walks & events and follow the link to book a place.
Sadly we can’t always accommodate everyone – we often have far more requests than we can (currently) deal with – but we do give advanced notice of events to people on our waiting lists  – so if the event you’re interested in is full or the times not quite right, then subscribe to our Newsletter & Events list.

Wellness Walks
& Mental Health North West

Wellness Walks are the visible face of our social enterprise company, Mental Health North West CIC Ltd.

This structure allow us to raise funds via grant applications and access to community funds – as well as by delivering mental health training courses commercially to organisations, businesses and individuals. Because we are a not-for-profit company any surplus from our courses goes directly into providing our free walks and events. This is why we have a range of walks that are open to anyone suffering low mental health.

However some walks/events have specific requirements set by the people and organisations that fund them(e.g. based in a certain area or for a certain participant profile) and some are totally unique to the individual. We aim to deliver the best service possible based on our resources.

How we know it works

In order to prove to our funding partners that what we do really does help, we ask participants to complete a simple questionnaire – that’s usually the only ‘cost’ to them at all (some of our skills based courses occasionally have small specific fees, but it’s rare).
Of course we’re happy if participants would like to make a small donation to the work we do – it’s not required at all – and of course, as a not-for-profit, all donations just go towards helping us to help more people.

This graph represents participants before and after self-reported wellbeing.

How do Wellness Walks help individuals?

We’ve run a lot of walks, programs and events since we began – overall participants report a real improvement in their wellbeing. Many of our programs are very low participant to facilitator ratio – typically just 4 participants – so you get a lot more attention, time to be heard & opportunity to listen. All of our walks are designed to put you at the heart of what we do – so they’re not about getting to the top, doing it in a set time or grabbing a selfie – they’re about being in nature with other people, learning to let go, becoming more confident… sometimes simply just being there.